LCC International University employs a liberal arts education model, so that, in addition to a specific major, students study a variety of disciplines included with their core curriculum and electives. This North American approach also grants an easier transition from one major to another giving a space to explore, make mistakes, and grow.
Three students shared their experience of changing majors at LCC and their views on this education model.
Ketevan Inasaridze, a Contemporary Communication sophomore from Georgia, started as an International Relations and Development major. She switched after the first semester, sharing this, “For me, it is crucial to learn and do what I enjoy. Being an IRD student was a real struggle for me, I don’t regret my decision to change. In Communication classes, we have more opportunities to express our opinions and write about them a lot. Those are two things I’ve always enjoyed: speaking up and writing.”
In the pursuit of genuine engagement and fulfillment in her studies, Ketevan found support from the faculty. Academic Vice-President, Dr. J.D. Mininger, and IRD Department Chair, Dr. Scott Newmann, her advisor at the time, helped Ketevan through the process. Additionally, Assistant Professor, Dr. Andrew Jones also helped her to figure out if the new major was a good fit and later welcomed her into the Contemporary Communication department.
“I was thinking about what I was going to do in the future -- the scariest question we face in our lives. Just out of high school, I was probably not ready to answer it but I tried,” said Yuliia Syrovatka, a junior from Ukraine. With an interest in both business and politics, Yuliia had a story of trial and error entering LCC as an International Relations and Development major, like Ketevan. During the first semester, she took International Development and Political Science and came to realize she actually could not imagine herself in this chosen field for the future.
In her second semester, she had already switched and started in the International Business department. “For me, I needed to see the numbers. In accounting, you see the balance sheet and things make sense in such a precise way, unlike my experience in International Relations studies.” Yuliia favored clarity of finance and the practicality of management over her broad interest in politics.
The junior student smiles telling how family and friends advised her years ago to pick business studies. Yulia didn’t want to settle so easily and wanted initially to try to experience something different. But now, she is happy with the path she took and has found her fit on her own.
Amy Duckworth, a Swiss-American-Canadian senior graduating with a degree in International Relations and Development, explains her way to this major with her attitude to higher education. “I came to University with a notion that this is MY education and I was going to get out of it what I wanted.” Amy entered LCC as a Psychology major, switched to Business by November, and finally, turned to IRD in her sophomore year. Amy notes that she never lost interest in any of the other academic areas, but rather was trying to figure out which made the most sense as a BA degree regarding her future.
During these four years, Amy kept exploring through the liberal arts system and took classes outside her major, audited classes, and just sat in some lectures that interested her. “Often students have a lot of hesitation when it comes to choosing their classes and making things work for them. I would approach professors, telling them I wanted to be in their class, and I always got the knowledge I craved. If you're a student who wants to learn something, the professors don’t want to turn you away,” says Duckworth.
All three students agree that LCC’s educational model helped them to grow, develop individuality, and a better understanding of themselves. “When I was headed to LCC, I had no idea what I wanted to do and become in the future, so that’s how I was off in choosing my major. I think all the classes that we learn from, in different fields, help us find our true interests. Through these, we discover that we enjoy one area more than another,” says Ketevan.
Amy shares regarding liberal arts education. “If you're interested in one specific field and you don't want to study anything else, go into that specific field. But if you want to see what is out there or just gain a broader mindset, then a liberal arts university is absolutely perfect. I benefited a lot from studying at LCC because my interests are so diverse and the liberal arts model is a great way to be introduced to different things and then to also see how they all fit together.”
One of Amy’s favorite classes at LCC was Arts and Culture with Dr. Julia Reimer and Dr. J. D. Mininger. Now, Duckworth is transitioning to Art and Design, as she has been accepted to a Foundational Degree program in Prague, Czech Republic. After that, she plans to go into Urban or Interior Design. Amy hopes to try other things she is interested in, for example, emergency medical training, while she studies for the next number of years.
When asked about her future, soon-to-be senior, Yuliia Syrovataka, also has a flexible mindset. “I am interested to find something in between both business and politics, as I am still interested in International Relations and Development. I plan to take a gap year after graduating, work somewhere and see if I want or need a Master’s degree.” This liberal arts education helps students to build self-awareness and intentionality in their choices along with a life-long passion for learning.
From her experience, Amy suggests to all the students who are unsure whether they are in the right spot: “If you are considering changing majors, think about your graduation day and what Bachelor's degree you want to have going forward towards your future.” Additionally, Yuliia’s advice: “Always pick what you really want and what your heart wants. Don't be afraid if you have to study an extra semester or year. It is really worth it in the end.”